2022 has been a fantastic year for Youth Business International (YBI) and our global network, filled with collaboration, new programmes and initiatives, and inspiring young entrepreneurs tackling some of the greatest challenges of our time.
Check out our highlights of 2022 below.
YBI Global Summit and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Our top highlight of 2022 was our Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague, Netherlands bringing our global network together to unleash the power of youth entrepreneurship as a force for good:
Over 170 delegates from 41 countries
15 panels, breakout sessions and workshops
Key topics of the summit sessions were green entrepreneurship, ESG, decent work, inclusivity in entrepreneurship, leadership, and access to finance.
At the summit, we also crowned our Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, Purity Gakuo! With her business, Kuza Freezer, Purity provides affordable and sustainable solar-powered cooling solutions to small-scale fishermen in Kenya. She has been supported by our member Somo.
Green and Social Entrepreneurship: Young Entrepreneurs as a Force for Good
In 2022, we embarked on a journey with our global network to develop the most effective approaches, methodologies, and tools to support young green and social entrepreneurs to build businesses that deliver profit with purpose.
In our social and green regional workshops, our members shared how they are currently supporting young green and social entrepreneurs, identified challenges and existing solutions, and brainstormed ideas to address remaining challenges. Building on these discussions, we launched a Community of Practice on Green and Social Entrepreneurship to continuously learn from each other about this important topic. We also provided a Green and Social Entrepreneurship Toolkit to our members, a collection of useful resources and tools, to help them better support young green and social entrepreneurs.
In line with this work, we launched two insightful publications this year:
We launched or renewed five programmes delivering inclusive entrepreneurship support to underserved young people this year:
COVID-19 Recovery Programme for social entrepreneurs in South Korea, supported by Google.org Through this new programme in South Korea building on the success of our global Rapid Response & Recovery Programme supported by Google.org, our delivery partners Work Together Foundation and Impact Square Inc have provided in-depth training and support to underserved social entrepreneurs in South Korea, to help them build skills, confidence, and adaptability.
Tackling economic inequality with Futuremakers by Standard Chartered In May 2022, we renewed our partnership with Standard Chartered Foundation and extended our Futuremakers programme for another two years supporting underserved entrepreneurs in eight countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. So far this year, the programme has provided intensive support, including training, advisory support and mentoring to 2,898 young entrepreneurs and reached 30,956 via outreach activities, social media, and other light-touch interventions.
BEST by Futuremakers to support displaced Ukrainians in Poland In June 2022, YBI and our member Youth Business Poland launched BEST (Business EmployabilitySkills Training) by Futuremakers, funded by Standard Chartered, to support working-age displaced Ukrainians in Poland to secure employment, start or re-start a business. The support includes webinars, mentoring, business mixers, and advisory support. So far, over 1,000 displaced Ukrainians have received individual consultations and over 50 have been paired with a mentor.
The Ohpikiwin Series, Journey to Financial Empowerment This programme implemented by YBI member Futurpreneur and supported by Accenture aims to build the financial resiliency and business literacy of Indigenous entrepreneurs across Canada. Working closely with Indigenous consulting firm Indigenuity Consulting Group, the Indigenous community, and Indigenous entrepreneurs, Futurpreneur co-creates and co-delivers virtual workshops and in-person training.
Driving responsible and sustainable businesses led by underserved entrepreneurs, supported by JPMorgan Chase This programme aims to support underserved and young entrepreneurs in Germany, France, South Africa, Spain, and the UK to build more sustainable and environmentally conscious businesses. Guided by YBI and an expert consultant, our members KIZ, Positive Planet, Youth Business Spain, and Hatch and our delivery partner Fetola are currently developing a sustainability toolkit to improve and strengthen their support services for entrepreneurs on their sustainability journey.
High Flyers Programme and Community of Practice supported by Argidius Our new High Flyers programme and Community of Practice brings together 10 YBI members and delivery partners from 8 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America to support ‘high flying’ young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. YBI defines High Flyers as young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 who have been running a business for approximately two years and are looking to grow.
Young Entrepreneurs as Champions of Decent Work
Another priority for YBI this year has been supporting young entrepreneurs to become responsible employers who provide decent work.
YBI has since adapted the training to a global audience and offered a Training of Trainers session to our wider membership so more YBI members can adapt and incorporate decent work training into their support programmes.
Mentoring to Empower Young Entrepreneurs
On International Mentoring Day, we celebrated the power of mentoring and our global community of mentors who dedicate their time, skills and expertise to supporting young entrepreneurs on their business journeys. We also crowned our Global Mentor of the Year 2021, Caxton Njuki, who volunteers for our Swedish member NyföretagarCentrum. Caxton says about mentoring: “I’ve found my purpose and it’s to give back!”
In July we wrapped up our SOS Mentoring programme with Enel Group, which saw a total of 131 Enel volunteer mentors matched with young entrepreneurs from seven countries. The mentors provided over 2,900 hours of volunteering and 95% of the young entrepreneurs who received the mentoring support reported that it helped them improve their ability and confidence to manage risks and uncertainty in their business.
Growth and Collaboration in our Global Network
We were delighted to welcome four new members to our global network this year:
YCAB Foundation: Based in Indonesia, YCAB’s mission is to empower underprivileged young people and mothers to become self-reliant and break the poverty cycle through entrepreneurship and education.
Mebala Youth Studios:Mebala Youth Studios (formerly Young Africa Botswana) offer innovative programmes aimed at developing the potential of young people to create innovative businesses and employment and become leaders in their community.
JeCCDO:JeCCDO is well established in Ethiopia and share YBI’s vision in terms of social and climate work. Their strategic goal is to strengthen entrepreneurial capacity in Ethiopia and support young people to build social businesses.
ETIC. (Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities.):ETIC. is a Japan-based non-profit organisation and one of the largest networks of social change leaders in the country. ETIC. supports over 1,800 young entrepreneurs through its core incubation programmes and peer-support communities.
We also delivered two in-person Community of Practice events this year. In March 2022, our nine African members came together in Nairobi, Kenya, for a two-day workshop on green and social entrepreneurship led by YBI.
In June, we brought the members of our Futuremakers programme together in Istanbul, Turkey, for three days of workshops focusing on access to finance and inclusive support for entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Building the network’s skills and capacities through training and webinars
We are proud to have offered a wide range of training and webinars for our members this year, including:
Hello Design Thinking: This training offered an introduction to Design Thinking, a powerful process of problem-solving enabling our members to create new products and adapt existing ones.
Training of Trainers: GPS (Growth & Performance Skills) for entrepreneurs: In this training, members learned how to deliver YBI’s Growth and Performance Skills Curriculum to help the young entrepreneurs they support develop the soft skills they need to succeed in business.
Leadership Series for CEOs: In this series, OverTime Leader founder Gillian Davis delivers engaging remote workshops helping leaders to identify and hone leadership styles and providing them with tools that help them develop the skills and communication styles to be an effective leader. This series will continue in 2023.
That’s a wrap on 2022 from us! We look forward to what 2023 has in store and wish our global network a happy and successful new year.